On a recent trip back east, I took the Boltbus from NYC to Boston. This bus is the marketing genius of Greyhound, serving the Northeast corridor. My ticket from mid-town Manhattan to Boston was only$19.50. I was struck by how well they captured the market share of students and young working people (and the occasional mature person like myself). The bus was a comfortable coach, with overhead bins and cushy, reclining seats. There was WiFi on board, along with electrical outlets at every seat. Virtually everyone was either on their laptop, iPhone or iPod. No one spoke on the 4 hour bus ride to Boston.
I am a child of the 70’s. Europe on $5-$10/day and $5.00 night Youth Hostels was the way we traveled back then. Meeting up with people from all over the globe, we paired up in Amsterdam, took trains together in Italy and Greece and hitch-hiked through Israel,all the while taking phone numbers and mailing addresses (this was before e-mail). As I looked around the bus, no one was talking. It was completely silent except for the occasional electronic sounds of a laptop or other wireless device.
I am 100% with technology. I have 2 laptops (one mini for travel), and iPhone. I know it enhances my business and could not imagine running my Real Estate business without them.
However, is too much technology taking the place of interpersonal communication and old-fashioned people skills? Is the world truly becoming smaller or are we sinking even more so back into our own comfort level with people we know? Or is technology just a great way to pass a few hours on a bus or train? I do admit, listening to my iPod on a cross country flight was relaxing and I didn’t have to make small talk with Mr. Armrest-Hogger.
Are we becoming victims of “technology overload”?